Scientific Names: Hoodia gordonii
Common names: Hoodia, Xhooba, Khoba
Chinese names: hu die xian ren zhang
Arabic names: صبار هوديا (Sabbaar hoodia)
Rain Forest names:
Approximate Number of Species Known:
Common Parts Used: Stem
Height: 3.2 feet
Description: (please note: this is the general characteristics – colour, flavor etc)
Herb Name: Hoodia gordonii
South African desert cactus
Latin name: Hoodia gordonii
Common part used:
The fleshy part of the stem is used – and in commercial applications it is this part that is dried and used in powder form.
Hoodia (pronounced HOO-dee-ah) is a cactus-like plant that grows primarily in the semi-deserts of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and Angola. In the last few years, hoodia has been heavily marketed for weight loss and has become immensely popular. Although there has always been a demand for diet pills, after the ban on the herb ephedra, the market was particularly ripe for the next new diet pill. Much of hoodia’s popularity stems from claims that the San Bushmen of the Kalahari desert relied on hoodia for thousands of years to ward off hunger and thirst during long hunting trips. They were said to have cut off the stem and eat the bitter-tasting plant.
Hoodia gordonii grows in clumps of green upright stems. Although it is often called a cactus because it resembles one, hoodia is actually a succulent plant. It takes about five years before hoodia gordonii’s pale purple flowers appear and the plant can be harvested. Hoodia gordonii is sold in capsule, powder, liquid, or tea form in health food stores and on the Internet. Hoodia is also found in the popular diet pill Trimspa.
Hoodia gordonii has an active molecule known as P57, which works as an appetite suppressant, which makes the brain, think that you are already full and satisfied, so you do not actually eat too much. Indeed, hoodia gordonii works 100% effective, and with no known harmful side effects. Just make sure that to take the right dose of it, because if taken too much of hoodia gordonii, one will feel full for a long period of time.
The native South Africans consume it fresh, by cutting a small piece of the stem and removing the thorns. Currently, extracts, teas, powders and capsules are commercially available. Some of the products sold may contain only Hoodia or combinations of this plant with other herbs or minerals, such as green tea and chromium picolinate, for example.